Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)

Rishab Ghosh rishab at
Sun Mar 16 23:34:29 UTC 2008


since i was involved in the development of the EUPL i do not want to make any substantial comments except to note that irish is not an official language of the EU and therefore the EUPL has not been translated into it (however, it has been translated into maltese, which also has very few speakers); and the process of translation has been extensive, involving a large number of people, patrice may explain this further.

i do want to make a more general comment, this time as a board member. it is one thing to only approve licences in english, because we do not have the capacities to study licences in other languages. to reject a licence because it is also available in other languages, however, is to say that open source should only be used and distributed by people who understand (and whose lawyers understand and work with) english. it is to say that the several countries, not just in europe, who require their governments to issue legal documents in national languages - a perfectly reasonable requirement and a matter of law in several places - cannot develop or distribute open source software.

it is true that open source is largely anglophone in practice - the research my group does shows this empirically - but i don't think we want the OSI to cement this through its licence approval procedures. 


On Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 03:55:05PM -0400, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Russ Nelson wrote:
> >Russ Nelson writes:
> > > Well then we should perhaps stick to realistic risks, then, eh?
> >
> >Maybe I should be more gentle, Matthew.  In the USA, there are laws
> >against fraud (seeking commercial gain through misrepresentation).
> I never said it would be a deliberate error.
> >Not to mention the fact that people actually speak the languages into
> >which the EUPL will be translated, and they'll care about Open Source
> >Definition compliance just as much as you do.
> Some will, but it's questionable whether they'll even know what's going 
> on here.  There are about 300,000 fluent Irish speakers.  How many of 
> those do you think frequent OSI mailing lists?
> >To the extent that nobody speaks that language or reads that
> >license, that means that the harm would be greatly reduced.
> Not really, because once an error is found it can be used repeatedly by 
> non-speakers.
> >So, worry about things that might happen on the sly.  Don't worry
> >about extremely public misbehavior which will be caught on day one.
> The license says that new binding translations can be issued at any 
> time, not just Day 1.  Once a new binding version is issued, you have to 
> use it as soon as you find out.
> Matt Flaschen

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